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Exploration feeds future of North West resource sector

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More than 1000 square kilometres of the world’s richest base metal region is up for exploration in the state’s North West Minerals Province.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today announced the release of four areas totalling 1100 km2 via competitive tender as part of Queensland’s Annual Exploration Program.

“The Palaszczuk Government is taking action to support new discoveries that help drive that next pipeline of resource development projects and create jobs and economic investment,” Dr Lynham said.

“Queensland is a proven world-class minerals producer and exporter, and home to opportunities for investment in both existing and new commodities.

“This tender process will provide an opportunity for exploration companies to find minerals including copper, gold, lead, zinc and tech metals, in a region supported by modern rail, port and pipeline infrastructure as well as a skilled workforce.”

Tenders will include a cash bid and any preferred tenderers selected will need to meet environmental, native title and land access requirements before commencing on-ground exploration. Tenders close on 24 May.

Dr Lynham said green shoots continued to appear across the North West Minerals Province, including the recent opening of the Dugald River zinc mine and the re-opening of the Lady Loretta zinc mine.

Glencore is hiring for its Lady Loretta zinc mine,  110km northwest of Mount Isa. It is re-opening after low zinc prices caused its closure in 2015. MMG’s Dugald River officially opened late last year and will employ up to 400 site-based staff as it ramps up to peak production.

“The Palaszczuk Government continues to support resources exploration and development in the North West Minerals Province by delivering a four-year, $27.125 million Strategic Resources Exploration Program under our strategic blueprint for the region,” Dr Lynham said.

“This program has already awarded $1.13 million in Collaborative Exploration Initiative grants to kick-start 12 exploration projects in the north-west.

For further information about the mineral exploration tenders visit www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/resources-tenders

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